David Ruffley MP Hosts a Discussion with Saudi Arabian Statesman

Monday, 24 January, 2011

David Ruffley MP Hosts a Discussion with Saudi Arabian Statesman

David Ruffley MP, Treasurer of the influential Henry Jackson Society, chaired a Question and Answer session with Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, the former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to both the United Kingdom and the USA, and former Director of the Saudi secret intelligence services. He is one of the key experts in Saudi foreign policy.

The well-attended event, in Committee Room 14 of the House of Commons on 24 January, opened with a speech by Prince Turki, before Mr Ruffley chaired the discussion.

Mr Ruffley said: 'Prince Turki has met everyone from Osama bin Laden to President George W Bush and has been instrumental in shaping Saudi foreign policy since the 1970s. He has a unique take on all of the big issues facing the Middle East- the war in Afghanistan, the nuclear ambitions of Iran, and the Palestine Question. It is one of the first chances we have had in Britain to listen to Prince Turki since he left the Saudi Government.

I have, for a long time, been involved in Middle Eastern affairs, and it was an honour to host such a high-profile event.

Saudi Arabia is one of the 'big beasts' of the Muslim world and its foreign policy has a huge effect on Britain. With British troops still on the ground in Afghanistan, we need to make sure Saudi Arabia does its utmost to secure peace in the region. Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine are all affected by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's actions.

His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al-Faisal is one of the founders of the King Faisal Foundation and is the chairman of the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh. He served as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America from September 2005 until February 2007. Previously, he served as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom from 2002.

A preeminent Saudi Arabian Diplomat and Foreign Policy voice on the global stage, Prince Turki was appointed an Advisor in the Royal Court in 1973. From 1977 to 2001, he served as the Director General of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the Kingdom's main foreign intelligence service.

Prince Turki was born on February 15, 1945 in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He began his schooling at the Taif Model Elementary and Intermediate School. In 1963, he graduated from The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He subsequently pursued an undergraduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and holds an honorary PhD in Philosophy from the University of Ulster.

Prince Turki is a visiting Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University and a Trustee of the Oxford Islamic Centre at Oxford University and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. He serves as a Commissioner at the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.